The NCAA has punished the USC football program for its involvement in the Reggie Bush scandal. The school will receive a two-year post-season ban and lose ten scholarships per season through 2013. The team will vacate wins accrued after Bush became ineligible in Dec. 2004. This includes the 2005 Orange Bowl win that won USC the national title and the 2005 season where Bush won a Heisman trophy. Todd McNair, a USC assistant coach, had knowledge of the violations and reportedly lied to the NCAA twice. Find the report here.
Vacating wins is benign. Our memories are more important than the record books we don’t own and the trophies we aren’t viewing. The sanctions are the real issue. They were severe. Certainly, they were more severe than Lane Kiffin expected when he left Tennessee so quickly.
It should take USC a long time to recover. The post-season ban hurts. The scholarships lost could be disastrous. Miami received a one-year post-season ban and lost 31 scholarships over two years in 1995. They had one terrible season in 1997 and it took them about five years to return to the national stage.
Next season should be dire. Kiffin needs to convince his current freshman class not to transfer. He also must brace for the incoming vultures. According to NCAA rules, because the bowl ban takes up the rest of their eligibility, every USC junior and senior can transfer and play next season.
This may be the one occasion where it would be appropriate for Michigan and Ohio State fans to high-five one another.
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